PLEASANT RIDGE — The online promotion and contest pioneer ePrize LLC announced Tuesday that it had been acquired by Catterton Partners, a consumer-focused private equity firm based in Greenwich, Conn.
Price and other terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.
The companies said the investment “will be used to accelerate ePrize’s overall growth and expansion, particularly in the multi-channel engagement and CRM arenas.”
EPrize administers four times more national online promotion and loyalty campaigns than any other company, and estimates that by the end of 2012, 80 percent of its campaigns will incorporate a mobile component. Proprietary technology allows ePrize to integrate mobile seamlessly into a brand’s social and Web properties.
In July 2011, ePrize acquired a division of Apollo Data Technologies, and in January 2012, acquired Cellit, a mobile solutions company.
The current ePrize leadership team led by Matt Wise, CEO, will continue to lead the company, capitalizing upon the financial and strategic resources created by the acquisition.
Wise said the deal had been in the works about six months and involved several bidders.
“We’re in a red hot segment, we just had a couple players in our space sell, and there were a lot of potential suitors knocking at our door,” Wise said.
Wise said the Pleasant Ridge office would remain ePrize headquarters. The company has just under 500 employees, about 300 of them in Pleasant Ridge.
Catterton, Wise said, “has come in as a financial backer. It will allow us to be a little more aggressive in terms of merger and acquisition. And we will continue to look to expand the staff as we continue to grow.”
Added Scott Dahnke, managing partner of Catterton Partners, in a statement: “As the largest online promotions platform, ePrize has been a pioneer in digital engagement. The rapid increase in the adoption of mobile technology has changed how brands engage with consumers, and ePrize is at the forefront of that trend. We look forward to working with the talented team at ePrize and leveraging our capabilities and resources to support the company’s continued growth and expansion.”
Founded in Detroit in 1999, ePrize will also retain its offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Seattle.
The company has more than 800 clients, including the majority of the Fortune 500 and 60 percent of the largest ad agencies. Since 1999, ePrize has created more than 8,500 promotions and loyalty campaigns in 44 countries for clients such as Coca-Cola, Microsoft, The Gap, HSN, MillerCoors, Yahoo!, P&G and AT&T.
With more than $2.5 billion currently under management and a 23-year track record of success in building high growth companies, Catterton Partners is the leading consumer-focused private equity firm. Since its founding in 1989, Catterton has leveraged its category insight, strategic and operating skills, and network of industry contacts to establish one of the strongest private equity investment track records in the middle market. Catterton Partners invests in all major consumer segments, including food and beverage, retail and restaurants, consumer products and services, consumer health, and media and marketing services. Catterton’s investments include Restoration Hardware, Cheddar’s and Noodles restaurants, Frederic Fekkai, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Kettle Foods, Odwalla and P.F. Chang’s China Bistro.
More at www.cpequity.com.